Sapling Faculty Consultants

Document created by Elizabeth Uva Employee on May 26, 2016Last modified by Elizabeth Uva Employee on Sep 30, 2019
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Faculty Consultant for Chemistry

Name: Matthew J. Mio

Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry

School: University of Detroit Mercy

Product: Sapling Learning

How do you use Sapling Learning?

I have biweekly online homework assignments for my students to complete to practice lecture course concepts, practice drawing organic chemical structures digitally, and generate questions for discussion with the larger course group. Sapling's library of questions is so vast, it's rare that I find a specific concept not covered somewhere in the database.

Advice on Using Technology with Students:

The "digital native" script for millennials is played out and Generation Z (the "plurals") arrives at college within the next few years. These students, as well as the ones we have now, expect expert feedback quickly, and Sapling Learning does just that for me. As much as I'd like to be there for my students at 2 am to talk about bimolecular substitution, Sapling Learning can do that for me with aplomb!



Faculty Consultant for Chemistry

Joshua Osbourn

Department: Chemistry

School: West Virginia University

Product: Sapling Learning; REEF Polling

How do you use Sapling Learning? I use Sapling for weekly online homework assignments in my organic chemistry courses. I also periodically use Sapling for its database of iClicker friendly questions and to create an occasional custom assignment using questions that I write.

Advice on Using Technology with Students: There is always a bit of a learning curve. Be patient at first and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Stress to your students the benefits of using a particular technology and how they should approach it from the perspective of enhancing their learning and understanding; not simply as a means to gain some extra points or to check another item off of their to-do list.



Faculty Consultant for Chemical & Biological Engineering

Name: Jason E. Bara

School: University of Alabama

Product: Sapling Learning – Mass & Energy Balances (Chemical Engineering) Course

How do you use Sapling Learning?  As a replacement for traditional homework; as a means of automating tests & quizzes; as a way to gauge retained knowledge from prior courses

Advice on using technology with students: Know more than they do… or at least as much as they do!  It’s not always easy for professors to stay on top of emerging technologies and trends but students are really impressed (and seem to pay more attention) when professors use modern technologies in the classroom and to communicate with students.  All of my course announcements are made via Twitter, and it works exceptionally well with no complaints.




Faculty Consultant for Physics

Name: Jim Hamm    

Department: Mathematics and Science

School: Big Bend Community College

Product: Sapling online homework system for physics

How do you use Sapling Learning? I use it for weekly homework assignments in my physics classes. I’m still in the process of developing how I use it (a process that will probably continue until I retire), but I’m pretty well settled on a couple of problems that are basic “plug and chug” for each day’s material, then a few more challenging problems each week that might pull things together from more than one topic.

Advice on Using Technology with Students:  Try to be as consistent with your due dates and times as you can, so students can plan their schedules accordingly. I usually try to make assignments due at 11:55 p.m., and the students have gotten accustomed to this time. Also, learn what you can about authoring questions. It’s a useful skill. I don’t often write problems from scratch, but sometimes I will make small modifications to existing problems, and having learned about question authoring I have an easier time with it.


Faculty Consultant for Physics

Name: John Stamm

Department: Physics

School: University of Evansville

Product: Sapling for Physics

How do you use Sapling Learning? I use Sapling to facilitate learning in introductory physics classes through individualized feedback for a larger number of homework problems than could be provided otherwise.  This also frees me up for more office hours and to work on improved demonstrations and lectures in those classes as well as freeing up time for better teaching in classes where I don't use Sapling, namely upper division physics classes.

Advice on Using Technology with Students: Short answer, use it to improve your efficiency so you can improve your teaching.  You can spend more time in class on tricky concepts versus solving basic problems.  Use the Tech TAs a lot (now called Client Success Specialists).  A lot of these questions have solutions online so change the wording or have the Tech TA change the wording.